Adding to the B-lines

Stirling NNRs

This week Buglife launched their B-lines across Scotland project see here.

Flanders Moss NNR car park wildflower meadow

The Buglife (with a bit of help from NatureScot) B-Lines project is a response to the decline of bees and other pollinating insects and lays out a way of reconnecting our wild places by creating a network of wildflowers across our landscapes.

Our precious pollinators are disappearing from large parts of the countryside – there are fewer bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths – and as well as the loss of abundance, some species are at risk of extinction in Scotland.  But everyone can help to change this, by working together to restore wildflower areas in our countryside and urban areas we can aid nature’s recovery.

A beetle using thistles left for insects at Flanders Moss

B-Lines give an opportunity to create a network of wildflower-rich areas across Scotland which then provide pollinator motorways that they can spread across Scotland. The B-Lines network in Scotland includes our best habitats and identifies key areas to restore and create new wildflower-rich meadows, important grassland verges and pollinator friendly gardens.

This is something everyone, from big organisations to individuals, can contribute to. On the Stirling NNRs we will be doing our bit too. The Loch Lomond and Flanders Moss NNRs are just a few fields away from the B-lines on maps. They offer huge areas of prime nectaring habitat, great for invertebrates and short cul de sacs off the major pollinator motorways. But at Flanders we are already working on producing wildflower meadows in the car park and nectar-rich willows along the access track to increase the pollinating opportunities for insects.

A leaf cutter bee (carrying a cut circle of leaf) at Flanders Moss.
A hoverfly using thistles left for insects at Flanders Moss.

And Blawhorn Moss is smack bang in the middle of one of the B-lines. Here there is more we can do. We have been collecting wildflower seed to increase the areas of wildflowers in the car park and a bit of impoverished grassland on the reserve. . We have recently added a large area of wildflower grassland to the NNR so giving it better protection and we will manage this area to benefit the wildflowers and the insects on them.

Away from the nature reserves we have a workshop / store near Dunblane that we work from. This also lies right in the middle of a B-line and we have plans for making a wildflower patch in the small outside space we have there. It won’t be big but every bit helps.

Gathering wildlfower seed – in this case hay rattle.
Vetch seed pods collected to spread in wildflower impoverished areas.

It is only by stitching together everyone’s efforts that we can create something than is greater than the parts – a nature-rich landscape. Are you doing anything?

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2 Responses to Adding to the B-lines

  1. Anne says:

    This is an excellent and most inspiring project to read about! In my South African garden I focus on indigenous trees, shrubs and flowers. Any other flowers I plant for quick colour – and for the bees – need to be suitable for pollinators to visit. I think bees need all the help they can get all over the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Gustafson says:

    I am passing this on to my friend who manages the Bring Conservation Home program for the St. Louis Audubon Society (USA). Thank you for inspiring those of us around the planet with your work!

    Liked by 1 person

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